image MS_776_479
Image number: RS.17400
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Instrument for trying gunpowder




Unknown, Artist


Robert Hooke (1635-1703, British), Natural philosopher

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (page): 320mm
width (page): 200mm


Content object


An instrument designed by Robert Hooke to determine the force of gunpowder. A drawing was submitted by Hooke at the meeting of the Royal Society on 9 September 1663 and ordered to be registered.

This drawing was copied from one of the original Register Books (RBO/2i/298 or RBO/2ii/197). The original drawing by Hooke is found at Cl.P/20/22/003. Another copy can be found at RBC/2/086.

This volume is another copy of entries of the first two volumes of the Register Book. It was given to Sir Joseph Banks by G. S. Heales Esquire of Doctor's Common on 31 May 1814.

Object history

At the meeting of the Royal Society on 9 September 1663, ‘Mr. Hooke brought in a scheme of the instrument for determining the force of gunpowder by weight, together with an explication thereof; which was ordered to be registered’ (Birch 1:302). Text and figure printed in Birch 1:303.

See the chapter 'The History of Making Gun-Powder', in Thomas Sprat, The History of the Royal-Society of London for the Improving of Natural Knowledge (London: Printed by T. R. for J. Martyn and J. Allestry, 1667).

Related Fellows

Robert Hooke (1635-1703, British), Natural philosopher

Associated place

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